o2_optimismWhether you are an optimist or a pessimist, there are three three factors that come into play. I would hope that I don’t need to tell you what they are as you should already know what they are as they are in the title above.  But please still allow me to explain these three principles.

I would also love to hear that you are an optimist, but apparently that is not usually the case.

As I mentioned last week, if you are indeed a pessimist, reading explanations like this may not necessarily easily flip you from the dark side(because that is essentially what pessimism is, right? Negativity?) to the side of good(positivity), but it can certainly at least enlighten you and get you headed in the right direction. In other words, once you realize there is a problem, you can now start working on said problem.  If this blog and this explanation does ‘flip’ you, then kudos to you. Also, welcome and you are welcome.

Moving on. Permanence, pervasiveness, personalization. These are used as ‘explanatory styles’ for things that happen to us as brought to us by Martin Seligman, Ph. D.  in his book “Learned Optimism” in 1991.  I have been using this type of ‘education’ and didn’t even realize where it was coming from or who defined it, but here it is.

  • Permanence-In an optimist point of view, a bad event is just a temporary thing and they would bounce back quicker than a pessimist who’s view would make them have a longer time to recover if at all. Also optimists believe that good things happen for a reason and go as far as say there are no coincidences but that negative occurrences are from just temporary causes.
  • Pervasiveness-So if one bad thing happens to an optimist, the optimist is not going to let that one bad thing cascade over into all other things in their day or life but a pessimist most certainly would thinking that that one failure in life means failure as a whole….generalism-bad stuff to be thinking.
  • Personalization – Internalization or externalization, basically. If a bad thing happens, an optimist will blame someone or something other than themselves causing them to be more confident overall and will quickly internalize good things happening to them even so far as to take total credit for something good that did happen to them, whether that was the case or not.  Pessimists essentially are just the opposite: they blame themselves for anything bad that happens to them and externalizes anything good, saying it was just a fluke, etc.

So I would say that being an optimist is very good for your life as you will be a higher achiever and have better overall health. I try to be-and do a pretty damn good job at- being the forever optimist.  I am also thinking that all who read this will get a bit of insight from this post.

I know I did.


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